Tech Trends – energy harvesting, batteries, Hydrogen, Hyper Sting – Smart Energy

Micro energy harvesting to power edge devices, testing the soil as an energy storage medium, hydrogen solutions to decarbonise heavy trucking and a fusion powered supersonic aircraft are in the week’s technology radar.

Micro power harvesting from sunlight

As an alternative to batteries, energy harvesting offers a potentially longer term and more reliable solution to powering wireless advantage devices.

Trameto, an UK based manufacturer of power management semiconductors for power harvesting, has introduced a proof-of-concept platform for evaluating how to generate a reliable micro-power source from ambient light and heat.

Named Severn, the platform includes a PV harvester on a hinged backing in order to allow optimal positioning and a thermoelectric generator with a good air heatsink, all housed in an acrylic case with magnets, enabling its attachment to a warm, ferrous surface.

The idea is that the user locates the particular Severn where there is an artificial or natural light source for the PV panel and the warm surface area relative to background air with regard to stimulating the thermoelectric generation.

The energy is stored in a supercapacitor, which when fully charged, delivers a 1. 8V DC regulated supply at up to 15mA regarding powering wireless IoT sensors and modules.

“The Severn platform is an example of how in order to create a reliable power supply intended for an edge IoT device from normal light and/or heat in a compact form factor, ” says Trameto CEO Huw Davies, noting that the platform can manage the energy from multiple harvesters.

Storing energy in the soil

With the demand to get batteries pertaining to energy storage space growing, ever more technologies are usually coming under the spotlight as possible storage mediums.

The latest of these is soil, with its potential to be investigated in the new project being led by biogeotechnic researcher Harbottle at Cardiff University in Wales along with UK government support.

The proposal will be that the particular excess electricity from renewable generation would be kept in pores within the soil or sediment in the form of simple organic molecules, which are generated by electrically-stimulated microorganisms.

These might then be consumed in soil or even sediment microbial fuel cells when the energy needs to end up being extracted, allowing energy in order to be stored almost anywhere as a result.

Decarbonising heavy transportation

The decarbonisation of Europe’s heavy duty trucking is usually in the particular spotlight inside a new agreement between German energy giant E. ON and the EV drive corporation Nikola.

The two companies intend to form a joint venture to offer customers an integrated mobility solution to promote the use of hydrogen, combining next-generation class 8 (heavy) semi-truck technologies with service and other support solutions and a green hydrogen infrastructure.

The vision of the joint venture is to promote the advantages that hydrogen offers in cost parity or better than diesel based on the total cost of ownership. The particular goal would be to make hydrogen available from stationary plus mobile refuelling points to ensure nationwide green mobility.

“At E. ON, our goal is to drive the power transition within Germany and Europe. For this, we also need innovative customer solutions, ” says Patrick Lammers, COO customer options.

The joint venture is expected to be finalised simply by the end of 2022 and will include the development of initial joint projects.

Hyper Sting – London in order to New York in 80 minutes

Since the withdrawal of Concorde, supersonic air travel – at least for commercial operations – appears to have seen little development. But that is changing and a new concept through the Spanish designer Oscar Viñals may be the answer.

Called the Hyper Sting, the particular 100m long plane would have a capacity for up to 170 passengers plus would cruise at 4, 000km/h at a maximum altitude of 20, 000m powered by NASA’s lattice nuclear fusion technology, while Perovskite quantum dot solar tissues on the top of the fuselage would provide the power meant for the plane’s devices and subsystems.

The concept includes a new fuselage geometry with active variable geometry wings to control the air flow and pressure to enable both the low speed takeoff and landing and the supersonic flight and an active air system on the nose in order to minimise the sonic boom.

Other features consist of laser guidance and the micropulse lidar system to predict plus detect turbulence up ahead.

“The fuselage might have the particular shape of a ‘big sting’ with a very sharp ‘nose’, ” says Viñals, from the concept, which also could travel long distances such as New York in order to Sydney in less than 4. 5 hours in a single stage.